How To Pray Salah? A Complete Guide for Beginners

By Last Updated: May 13, 2024Views: 238

Salat is a spiritual ritual enjoind upon muslims by Allah and is instructed to offer more than seven hundred times in Holy Quran. In this article we will learn how to pray salat. Salat is an arabic word which means prayer. It means to pray from Allah, and in islam it is to pray or worship at a specific time in a precise manner according to certain rules and regulations.

Performing salah helps to build a deeper connection batween Allah and his righteous servants. By performing salah we receive blessings and Allah’s mercy.

Among the rights of Allah taala on muslisms first right after their beliefs is praying salah. It is one of the five pillars of islam. It is obligatory to perform salah five times a day for muslims. According to abu Huraira (R.A), our prophet (S.A.W) said,

“‏ إِنَّ أَوَّلَ مَا يُحَاسَبُ بِهِ الْعَبْدُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ صَلاَتُهُ فَإِنْ وُجِدَتْ تَامَّةً كُتِبَتْ تَامَّةً وَإِنْ كَانَ انْتَقَصَ مِنْهَا شَىْءٌ قَالَ انْظُرُوا هَلْ تَجِدُونَ لَهُ مِنْ تَطَوُّعٍ يُكَمِّلُ لَهُ مَا ضَيَّعَ مِنْ فَرِيضَةٍ مِنْ تَطَوُّعِهِ ثُمَّ سَائِرُ الأَعْمَالِ تَجْرِي عَلَى حَسَبِ ذَلِكَ ‏”‏ ‏.‏

“The first thing for which a person will be brought to account on the Day of Resurrection will be his Salah. If it is found to be complete then it will be recorded as complete, and if anything is lacking He will say: ‘Look and see if you can find any voluntary prayers with which to complete what he neglected of his obligatory prayers.’ Then the rest of his deeds will be reckoned in like manner.”

Inception of Prayer

Salat is a gift from Allah taalah offered to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon on him) the occasion of miraj for muslims. On the occasion of miraj, five prayers were made mandatory for muslims to offer in a single day which are fajr, Zuhr, Asr, Maghrib and Isha. Offering five time prayer is evident from Holy Quran (surah bani israel),

أَقِمِ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ لِدُلُوكِ ٱلشَّمۡسِ إِلَىٰ غَسَقِ ٱلَّيۡلِ وَقُرۡءَانَ ٱلۡفَجۡرِۖ إِنَّ قُرۡءَانَ ٱلۡفَجۡرِ كَانَ مَشۡهُودٗا

“Establish prayer at the decline of the sun [from its meridian] until the darkness of the night and [also] the Qur’an of dawn. Indeed, the recitation of dawn is ever witnessed”.

In this ayat Allah taala mentioned the time of five daily prayers. Time from the decline of sun from its meridian includes Zuhr, Asr and Magrib. Isha in darkness of night and Fajr at the Qur’an of dawn. In Holy Quran, Allah Taala commanded to offer salat on various occasions. In Surah Baqarah Allah taala mentioned,

ٱلَّذِينَ يُؤۡمِنُونَ بِٱلۡغَيۡبِ وَيُقِيمُونَ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ وَمِمَّا رَزَقۡنَٰهُمۡ يُنفِقُونَ

“Who believe in the unseen, establish prayer, and spend out of what We have provided for them”

In same sura baqara on other occassion Allah commanded,

وَأَقِيمُواْ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ وَءَاتُواْ ٱلزَّكَوٰةَ وَٱرۡكَعُواْ مَعَ ٱلرَّـٰكِعِينَ

“And establish prayer and give zakah and bow with those who bow [in worship and obedience]”.

Types of Prayer

There are four different types of islamic prayers mentioned below

  1. Fard Prayer– Those salah which are commanded in holy Quran by Allah are called fard salah. These are five daily prayers that muslims pray in everyday life i.e Fajr prayer, Zuhr prayer, Asr prayer, Maghrib prayer, Isha prayer.Fard salah are mandatory that every muslim must offer right at its time. If fardh salah is missed one has to make up (offer qaza) for it.
  2. Wajib Prayer – wajib salah and fardh salah are quite similar but wajib have a slight lower ranking then fard. Wajib salah include salat-e-witr and salah of eid.
  3. Sunnah Prayer – Sunnah refers to the practices of Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) and hence, the extra salah practiced voluntary by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)are called sunnah salah. There are two types of sunnah prayers, one prayed regularly known as Muakkadah and other prayed Mostly is Ghair Muakkadah.
  4. Nafl Prayer – Voluntary salah offered to show gratefulness or to gain content of Allah taala. It has no fixed time you can offer when you want (except for makrooh times) and as much as you can offer.

Conditions for Islamic Prayer

There are certain conditions needs to be met for any valid prayer.

  • Place where salat is offered should be clean (paak).
  • Body should be clean from any kind of filth.
  • Clothes should be clean.
  • Satr should be covered.
  • Time should be right for prayer i.e, if someone is offering zuhr prayer it must be the time of zuhr.
  • Facing Kaaba.
  • Niayyt of salat

Constituents (arkan) For Islamic Salah

There are six fard arkan during salat, without any of these prayer is not complete.

  1. Saying Allahu akbar(takbeer e tahreema).
  2. Qayyam.
  3. Qirat.
  4. Ruku.
  5. Offering two sujood.
  6. Sitting in accordance with tashhad in last rakat.

These 6 constituents within prayer and 7 conditions for salat altogether made 13 obligations of salat.

Requisites (wajibat) for Islamic Prayer

Requisites (wajibat) are such commands of Allah taala that are evident from proofs. If requisites are left intentionally prayer will not be valid even sajda sahu is performed, and if these are overlooked mistakenly, sajda sahu can be performed to complete valid prayer.

  1. Reciting surah al-fatiha
  2. Reserve first tw0 raakat of farz for qirat and in last two rakat of farz salat, there is no surah after surah al-fatiha. In sunah and nafl prayer qirat is obligatory in all rakaat.
  3. Recite any surah after surah al fatiha or to recite at least three verses from holy Quran.
  4. Perform qooma after ruku, standing position for qooma is also a requisite.
  5. Sitting in between two sujood that is called jalsa.
  6. Reciting at-tahiyyat in middle qada ( sitting after two rakat is called qada if offering four or three rakat sitting after 2nd rakat is called middle qada).
  7. Ending salat with word salam
  8. Saying Allah-hu-akbar before dua-e-qunoot in witr.
  9. Reciting dua-e-qunoot in witr prayer.
  10. For eid prayer offering six additonal takbeerat.

Preparation for Islamic Prayer

Now you have a complete knowledge of salah and you are ready for prayer. First we need to met the obligatory conditions to perform salat.

Make you Body Clean (Paak)

To offer prayer you need to perform ghusal or wudu according to islamic teachings. It purifies your body and make you ready for prayer.

Wear Clean Clothes

To pray salah, clean (paak) clothes are compulsory to wear. Any clothes having even a spot of filth, urine or any other dirt are considered unclean (napaak).

You should cover your sattar. If you are a male, you have to cover at least from belly button to knees, and for female it is mandatory to cover whole body except face hands and feet.

Find Paak Place and Check Time for Obligatory Prayers

For prayer choose a clean place(prayer mat). For male, Masjid is best place to perform salah and for female, place may be corner of your home which is not crowded. Note that, it is recommended for male muslims to offer fard and wajib salah openly in masjid, and nafl at separate places quitely.

For every prayer, time is specified. It is mandatory to perform salah on their right time. If you missed the right time of prayer, you have to offer qaza prayer for fard and wajib prayers.

Time of Tahajjud prayer

Face Qibla and Make Niyyah

Holy Kabaa located in Makkah is the qiblaa for muslims. Muslims needs to face kaaba to offer their prayers.

Niyyah means intention, hence niyyah for prayer means intention of prayer. in Islam, muslims have to make intention of prayer either in heart or by saying the words of niyya you can say the words of niyyah in your own language . Saying words are not compulsory, but it make your prayer more spiritual according to Hanfi scholars.

“I intend to offer [name, type and rakaat of prayer] solely for Allah Talaa, facing kaaba.”

Make Niyyat for salah

Steps for How to Pray Salah

After performing above steps, you are prepared for the prayer. Now its time to start performing prayer.

Takbeer-e-Tahreema, Say Allahu akbar

First takbeer is called takbeer-e-tahreema, Its fard to say takbeer-e-tahreema(Allahu akbar) to enter in the state of prayer. You must face qibla and raise your hand in their own condition, fingers should not be too wide and too close, raise your hand to ears then say Allahu akbar.

If you are ill and facing difficulties in standing, you can perform prayer while sitting on earth or on any object e.g chair etc. If you are healthy, then standing in such a way that your face and fingers of feet are towards kabaa.




Qiyam refers to standing humbly and respectfully before Allah. We have to stand straight that our feet will be facing kaaba distance between feet can be adjusted according to your body in a way a person can stand comfortably.

After takbeer-e-tahreema, tie your hands in such a way that little finger and thumb of your right hand are holding wrist of left hand with three fingers on the top of left forearm. Tie your hand below navel. During qayyam eyes should be placed on the place of sujood. First recite,
سُبْـحانَكَ اللّهُـمَّ وَبِحَمْـدِكَ وَتَبارَكَ اسْمُـكَ وَتَعـالى جَـدُّكَ وَلا إِلهَ غَيْرُك
then tauz, أعوذ بالله من الشيطان الرجيم(I seek refuge in Allah from the rejected Shaitan)

and then tasmia, بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم(In the name of God, the most gracious, the most merciful)

and then recite complete surah al Fatihah,
الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ
الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ
مَلِكِ يَوْمِ الدِّينِ
إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ
إِهْدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ
صِرَاطَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ غَيْرِ الْمَغْضُوبِ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا الضَّالِّينَ

Now recite any surah of holy Quran. For learning we usually add surah ikhlas (الْإِخْلَاص).
قُلْ هُوَ اللَّهُ أَحَدٌ
اللَّهُ الصَّمَدُ
لَمْ يَلِدْ وَلَمْ يُولَدْ
وَلَمْ يَكُن لَّهُ كُفُوًا أَحَدٌ


Perform Ruku and Qooma

Move to bowing position called ruku, bend down say Allahu akbar, الله أكبر and place hands on your knees with your hands in such a way that head and back should be straight and eyes should be placed between your feet and recite the tasbeeh, سُبْحَانَ رَبِّيَ الْعَظِيمِ atlease three times.

For tahajjud you must recite this tasbeeh more then three times for longer ruku. Rise straight from ruku saying, سمع الله لمن حمده and recite, رَبَّنـا ولَكَ الحَمْـدُ upon reaching the standing position.

Qooma is a standing position between ruku and sajdah. Stand straight for a while after ruku in such a way that your hands are down and in free position. Say Allahu akbar, الله أكبر and go for first sajdah after standing for a while.

Perform Ruku


Perform First Sajdah

For sajdah sit down on your knees while your feet remains on the ground. Place your hands, forehead and nose on the ground. Keep finger of your hands close with straight palms and your gaze straight on place, in between your hands.

Men make sure that their elbows do not touch the ground and their back must be inclined.

For Women elbows must touch the ground while their back remain straight and close to ground. Recite tasbeeh, سُبْحَانَ رَبِّيَ الأَعْلَى minimum three times and maximum to your desired times. After reciting tasbeeh for desired time, say Allahu akbar, الله أكبر and sit down with straight back.


Sitting in Jalsa

Jalsa refers to the sitting position between two sajood. After first sajdah, sit in resting position for a while such that your back is straight, Left foot is spreading and right foot is standing on fingers.

After sitting for a while say, Allahu akbarالله أكبر and go for second sajdah.

Sitting in Jalsa

Perform Second Sajdah

Perform second sajdah just like the first one. You have to stand up in qiyam for 2nd rakat saying takbeer, Allahu akbar, الله أكبر after completing second sajdah.


Second Rakat

Second rakat starts from qiyam after rising from second sajdah. In second rakat, start qiyam from reciting surah-al-Fatiha along with other surah and follow all the steps according to first rakat. After second sajdah sit in tashhud saying takbeer, Allahu akbar.


Sit in Tashhud (At-Tahiyaat)

In tashhud, sit upright in such a way that you are sitting on your knees with straight back while your hands placed on your thighs with finger pointing to qibla. Position of feet depends upon your fiqah, so guidance from imam is recommended. Recite tashahhud silently,
ٱلتَّحِيَّاتُ لِلَّٰهِ وَٱلصَّلَوَاتُ وَٱلطَّيِّبَاتُ، ٱلسَّلَامُ عَلَيْكَ أَيُّهَا ٱلنَّبِيُّ وَرَحْمَةُ ٱللَّٰهِ وَبَرَكَاتُهُ، ٱلسَّلَامُ عَلَيْنَا وَعَلَىٰ عِبَادِ ٱللَّٰهِ ٱلصَّالِحِينَ، أَشْهَدُ أَنْ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا ٱللَّٰهُ، وَأَشْهَدُ أَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُولُهُ

When you reach on, أَشْهَدُ أَنْ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا ٱللَّٰهُ، وَأَشْهَدُ أَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُولُهُ(I bear witness that there is no deity except Allah and I testify that Muhammad is His bondman and Messenger,) , raise right index finger of your hand in such a way that your palm closed in the shape of lose fist touching the thigh and index finger points as up as possible before placing back on your thumb making a circular shape.

After At-Thiyat recite darood ibrahimi to bless Muhammad (peace be upon him),
اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلَى آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ كَمَا صَلَّيْتَ عَلَى إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَعَلَى آلِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ إِنَّكَ حَمِيدٌ مَجِيدٌ اللَّهُمَّ بَارِكْ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ، وَعَلَى آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ كَمَا بَارَكْتَ عَلَى إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَعَلَى آلِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ إِنَّكَ حَمِيدٌ مَجِيدٌ
Followed by a Supplication. Most commonly used supplication is,
رَبَّنَا آتِنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَّفِي الْآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَّقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ

other supplications to recite after darood ibrahimi are,

رَبِّ اجْعَلْنِي مُقِيمَ الصَّلَاةِ وَمِنْ ذُرِّيَّتِي ۚ رَبَّنَا وَتَقَبَّلْ دُعَاءِ رَبَّنَا اغْفِرْ لِي وَلِوَالِدَيَّ وَلِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ يَوْمَ يَقُومُ الْحِسَابُ

“My Lord, make me an establisher of prayer, and [many] from my descendants. Our Lord, and accept my supplication. Our Lord, forgive me and my parents and the believers the Day the account is established.”

اَللَّهُـمَّ إِنيِّ أَعوُذُ بِكَ مِنْ عَذاَبِ الْقَبْرِ ، وَمِنْ عَذاَبِ جَهَنَّمَ وَمِنْ فِتْـنَةِ الْمَحْياَ وَالْمَماَتِ وَمِنْ شَرِّ فِتْـنَةِ الْمَسيِحِ الدَّجاَّلِ

Oh Allah I seek refuge in you,from affliction of the torment of the grave ,from the affliction of the torment of the Hellfire from the trial of life and death and from the evil of affliction of Al Maseeh ad Dajjal.

اللهم إني ظلمت نفسي ظلمًا كثيرًا، ولا يغفر الذنوب إلا أنت، فاغفر لي مغفرة من عندك، وارحمني، إنك أنت الغفور الرحيم‏”‏ ‏(‏‏(‏متفق عليه‏)‏‏)‏‏.‏ وفي رواية‏:‏ ‏”‏وفي بيتي‏”‏ وروي‏:‏ ‏”‏ظلمًا كثيرًا‏”‏ وروي ‏”‏كبيرًا‏”‏ بالثاء المثلثة وبالباء الموحدة، فينبغي أن يجمع بينهما، فقال‏:‏ كثيرًا كبيرًا‏.‏

O Allah! I have considerably wronged myself. There is none to forgive the sins but You. So grant me pardon and have mercy on me. You are the Most Forgiving, the Most Compassionate).”‘

Sit in Tashhud (At-Tahiyaat)


After reciting supplication, its time to complete the prayer with tasleem and to exit from worship state. First turn your face towards right shoulder and recite, السَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَةُ اللهِ and then turn your face towards left shoulder and recite, السَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَةُ اللهِ.


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